Glen Powell Eyes Lead In JJ Abrams’ Next Film; Joins Legal Drama ‘Monsanto’ With Anthony Mackie And Laura Dern

Glen Powell is at the top of every director’s wish list right now, and already this year he’s become attached to multiple projects. There’s the revenge thriller Huntington alongside Margaret Qualley for A24; there’s also Edgar Wright’s The Running Man remake. And now Powell’s name has come up for two more projects, both announced on the same day.

Let’s start with the big one, and that’s JJ Abrams’ top secret new film. TheInSneider was first to report that Powell is in early talks to star in the Bad Robot film that Abrams will direct from his own screenplay. No details are available, of course, and Abrams isn’t likely to spill any until the time is absolutely right.

This would be Abrams’ first directorial effort since 2019’s Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

There’s some precedent for this, as Powell and Abrams are both producers on Paul Crowder’s Flight Demonstration Squadron documentary film The Blue Angels, which hits IMAX on May 17th and Prime Video streaming on May 23rd.

Next up, Powell is set to star alongside Anthony Mackie and Laura Dern in legal drama Monsanto, from writer/director John Lee Hancock. Rocket Science is launching sales on the film at Cannes, and this should be one of the hottest packages there.

Written by Hancock, Michael Wisner, Alexandra Duparc, and Ned Benson, Monsanto “tells the true story of young, untried attorney Brent Wisner (Powell) who takes on a seemingly insurmountable case against the giant U.S. chemical company Monsanto on behalf of Dewayne “Lee” Johnson (Mackie) who used Monsanto’s best-known product Roundup, a wildly financially successful weed and grass pesticide killer, as part of his job as a high school groundskeeper. During the trial, Dr Melinda Rogers (Dern), the chief toxicologist of the Monsanto Company, testifies with certainty that Roundup is safe.”

Hancock is known for directing some big films including The Blind Side, Saving Mr. Banks, and The Rookie. He most recently helmed the Netflix horror Mr. Harrigan’s Phone in 2022.

Powell’s busy streak continues with two major releases in the next few months. Powell co-wrote and stars in Richard Linklater’s action-comedy Hitman, which streams on Netflix in June. In July, he’ll chase storms with Daisy Edgar-Jones and Anthony Ramos in the long-awaited sequel, Twisters.  I think Hitman is going to be gigantic and the movie that cements Powell as one of the most popular actors in the country. He’s funny, charismatic, and multi-talented, which is why he is so sought-after at the moment.

Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.